Friday, December 29, 2006

Square craters. A case of 'structural features'? Or, perhaps...ancient buildings without roofs? You decide.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I know, I know...the obvious answer from any esoterically minded individual would be, "It's alien..." However, I posit that it is very possible we are looking at a Sasquatch limb. And let me tell you, when this story doesn't make any headway and it disappears from the archives at means they know something and they aren't telling. Call me paranoid...
The Thunderbird: Examining the Legend
Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 (CST) by Thoth
Across the globe there are stories of giant birds often called Thunderbirds that we assume exist only in legend. Their presence has been faithfully recorded in the mythology of many cultures for thousands of years in the form of cave art, carvings, pottery and ancient stories.Oddly enough, there are many people who believe that there is more to these stories than mere legends. Records of actual sightings of the strange ‘giant’ also span the world; often mirroring areas where the legend originates.These sightings obviously fuel much debate in the world of cryptozoology, because they suggest that there is a previously undiscovered species of bird that has eluded science despite its immense size. Witnesses’ descriptions further complicate the issue because sightings fall into two distinct categories: giant feathered birds, or giant featherless creatures.This discrepancy has caused some researchers to question if the term Thunderbird is mistakenly used to describe two completely unrelated animals. Investigations into what these mysterious and elusive creatures could be centers on two very different lines of thought: that they are either an unknown species of bird, or a pterosaur (a type of dinosaur that in theory died out several million years ago). There is however a third explanation that in many ways encompasses the other two; that these creatures are an entirely supernatural phenomena. The biggest challenge that faces researchers and investigators today is to understand what kind of creature the Thunderbird is.The Legend of the Thunderbird The Thunderbird’s name originated from the belief that its massive wings were responsible for creating thunder and lightening as it flew through the skies. Even in America, the Thunderbird appears to have been called many different names in different cultural traditions. The native people of modern-day Illinois called it the Piasa while in New England some tribes knew it as the Pmola.The Thunderbird’s reputation is as varied as its names; in the Pacific Northwest Thunderbirds were seen as protectors and its image adorned canoes to protect fishermen from whales. But tribes such as the Cherokee, who called it Tlanuwa, feared the Thunderbird and claimed that it raided the villages, carrying off small dogs and children.Interestingly, the legends of the Algonquin people of New England told how the giant birds rode the wind currents from the southwest all the way up the eastern U.S. to New England. Researchers have noted that this fits with many reported modern day sightings, as the birds seem to follow the prevailing weather systems which start in Mexico and flow to the northeast, through the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys up into the Appalachian Mountains. It comes as no surprise to hear that many modern sightings are in the same places where many of the Thunderbird legends originated. Mistaken IdentityIn the past, many investigators have suggested that what are reported as Thunderbird sightings are actually condors, turkey buzzards or even large eagles. These birds have wingspans of between six and ten feet depending on the species, although this is considerably smaller than the thirty foot wingspan attributed to the Thunderbird. Also, condors, the biggest of the suspects, are not native to many areas where sightings have been reported. Certainly though, some witnesses have stated specifically that the bird they saw strongly resembled a condor, both in size and outline although they are particularly rare today. The famed ornithologist John J. Audubon offered another candidate that might have been mistaken for a thunderbird. Audubon described an unknown species of eagle in the area of the Illinois and Ohio River valleys that he named Washington’s eagle. This particular raptor species was said by Audubon to be over three and a half feet in length with a wingspan exceeding ten feet. Audubon only made five total sightings of this bird, although during one he managed to shoot and examine a specimen. However, not all biologists accept that Washington’s eagle is a separate species, and suggest that Audubon was mistaking large golden eagles or even immature bald eagles for this other bird. Some of the modern reports of unknown giant birds sound as though the witnesses could be describing the type of bird that Audubon had seen, especially as some sightings appeared in the area that the ornithologist described. Modern sightings of giant birdsIn Alton, Illinois, in 1947 there was a rash of sightings in which the witnesses described having seen impossibly large birds. In early April of that year, a farmer named Robert Price reported a ‘monster bird... bigger than an airplane’, and on April 10th another was spotted, this time by Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Smith and Mr. Les Bacon. In that sighting, the witnesses thought they were looking at a small airplane until the bird flapped its wings. The sightings that year continued until early May and then stopped until 1977 when one was sighted again.On July 25th 1977, several residents from Lawndale, Illinois reported seeing two large birds of an unknown species which attacked three boys playing in a yard. One of the boys, ten year old Marlon Lowe, was seized by one of the talons of one of the birds and witnessed claimed he was actually lifted about a foot into the air. The boy weighed about 65 pounds at the time, so any bird capable of lifting another animal of that weight would have been enormous. One witness said the bird had a body the size of a large man and had a white ring around its neck on an otherwise coal-black body. Another witness, the boy’s mother, said the bird resembled a condor. Fortunately the boy was able to struggle free, and was left with only minor wounds. This was not the only report of these large birds from the area in that year; just a few days after the above incident, a man and his wife watching model airplanes fly over their farm reported seeing two birds with estimated ten-foot wingspans. On July 30th in Bloomington, Illinois, a man who was spending the day on a fishing boat with his son managed to film two giant birds after they took flight, shooting about 100 feet of footage of the birds. He estimated their wingspan as being over twelve feet. When the film was shown to local Department of Conservation officials, they stated the birds were merely large turkey vultures, which are native to the area. However, other researchers and wildlife experts disagreed, as turkey vultures do not grow to the size of the birds reported by the many witnesses. There were also several sightings in June to September of 2001 in Pennsylvania. On June 13th, a resident of Greenville, Pennsylvania reported seeing a huge dark grey or black bird with a wingspan of 15 feet flying overhead. One of the witnesses’ neighbors also came forward to say they had seen this huge bird, which was observed for about fifteen minutes before flying away to the south. What appears to be the same bird was seen in July, this time in Erie County and again on September 25th, this time flying over a highway and landing in a tree, where a dead branch nearly broke under its weight. Again, the bird in this sighting had a wingspan of an estimated ten to fifteen feet, and didn’t resemble any of the known local birds. Giants of the PastDuring the past, there were other species of raptors in the skies over the Americas. In fact, during the mega-fauna era of the Pleistocene, there were at least seven species of eagle in North America. Although most died out when the other large animals did, at least one survived into the period when, even by the most conservative estimates, humans were colonizing the Americas. This bird was Teratornis merriami, a bird of enormous proportions who was still alive as recently as 8000 years ago. From the fossil remains, we know it stood about five feet tall and had an awe-inspiring twenty-four foot wingspan, something comparable in size to a single-engine aircraft. Because the remains of Teratornis have been found alongside human artifacts, it is likely that early residents of the North America not only knew of Teratornis but might have hunted it, either as food or because it hunted humans. Fossilized remains of the bird have led researchers to believe that Teratornis was a predator and not merely a scavenger. Given that many of the Thunderbird legends tell of these birds carrying away humans as food it is possible that this amazing creature is actually the origin for the Thunderbird legend. Is it a Bird? Although it existed in the legends of many cultures, at times it seems the stories are describing vastly different animals. In some places the description clearly fits that of a large bird, while in others it takes on distinct reptilian characteristics.Researchers have noted that many of the descriptions of the Thunderbird, including images and petroglyphs, have a more reptilian nature. They suggest that it is possible that the Thunderbird isn’t a bird at all, but what could only be described as a living fossil – a pterosaur.Pterosaurs were a group of flying reptiles that lived along the dinosaurs and died out at the end of the Cretaceous Period. Pterosaurs ranged in size from the tiny Pterodactylus elegans with a wingspan of just under 10 inches to the mighty Quetzelcoatlus, with a wingspan of up to 40 feet. However, no remains of pterosaurs have been found in the fossil record after the so-called “K-T” boundary, which is the time in the geological record when all dinosaur fossils cease to appear.An early visitor to the region of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, the French explorer Jacques Marquette, reported seeing a painting of the Piasa bird painted high on the face of a cliff. Marquette’s description of the painting gives details that sound more reptilian than avian:"On the flat face of a high rock were painted, in red, black, and green, a pair of monsters, each as large as a calf, with horns like a deer, red eyes, a beard like a tiger, and a frightful expression of countenance. The face is something like that of a man, the body covered with scales, and the tail so long that it passes entirely round the body, over the head, and between the legs, ending like that of a fish." Unfortunately, today only a reproduction of that painting remains as no one has been able to pinpoint the exact location that Marquette’s described, leading skeptics to suggest he may have lied about seeing this particular image.As outlandish as it sounds, many researchers have taken the possibility that there could still be living pterosaurs very seriously. There have been recent expeditions to Papua New Guinea to search for a flying creature the locals call the ‘Ropen’ which from descriptions, sounds like a living specimen of a pterosaur called Rhamphorhyncus from the Late Jurassic period. There are other places in the world where cryptozoologists believe that these creatures may still exist; reports of pterosaur-like creatures such as the Kongamoto of the African Congo region continue to intrigue many. The Pterosaur ReturnsIf sightings of feathered giant birds are plentiful, it has to be said that so are sightings of flying reptiles. In 1992, a small plane in Brazil reported a near collision with what everyone claimed was a white pterosaur, which supposedly flew next to the plane. This encounter occurred while a twenty-four passenger plane was flying over a mountainous jungle region. The plane’s flight attendant claimed the creature flew alongside the plane enabling her to see it clearly through the windows, but no estimated size for the creature was given.Over the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, film was shot in the 1970s which reportedly showed a pterosaur in flight. Although the footage appears to have been lost it was mentioned in books on cryptozoology at the time.In 1976, a policeman named Arturo Padilla of San Benito, Texas was on patrol in his vehicle during the early-morning hours when he spotted a huge shape in his headlights which resembled a huge bird. Just a few moments later, another officer in the same town saw the same large creature, which he described as gliding along without flapping its wings. A short time after that report, a man in Brownsville named Alverico Guajardo claimed that around 9:30 in the evening a large creature he described as being ‘like a bird, but not a bird’ crashed into his mobile home. Mr. Guajardo said he witnessed the stunned creature standing in his yard after the crash, and described it as huge and unlike anything he’d ever seen.In January of 1976, a young man in Raymondsville, Texas was reportedly attacked by a creature he claimed stood six feet tall and had a wingspan he estimated at being at least ten feet wide. Although not seriously injured, he was very shaken by this encounter, and said the creature that attacked him had huge red eyes and blackish-brown leathery skin, but no feathers. In February of the same year, three school teachers on their way to work at a local elementary school were startled when they saw a huge creature with a wingspan of at least twelve feet soar over their cars. After arriving at work and researching what they had seen, they found a library book with a similar creature in; according to the book, these three very reliable and intelligent witnesses had seen a pterosaur. A more recent sighting in which the witnesses were convinced they’d seen a living pterosaur came from Perth, Australia in 1997. A couple taking an evening walk observed a creature flying some 300 feet above them, which had wings shaped like an elongated triangle, reddish-tan leathery looking skin with no visible feathers but possibly covered in scales, and a body shaped like a torpedo. The couple watched the creature for several minutes, and they claimed the creature glided without flapping its wings while they watched it fly slowly off to the south along the coastline.Supernatural PossibilitiesSkeptics point out however that there is no physical evidence to support claims that these undiscovered birds or reptiles do actually exist. The most famous ‘photographs’ of pterosaurs allegedly taken during the American civil war are known to have been faked by the media and other ‘big bird’ photographs remain disputed at best.Rather than looking for a creature that lives amongst us, it is possible that we may be looking for a creature that is only visible when conditions are favorable. Whether those conditions relate to a build up of psychic energy, times where the veil that separates our dimension from other dimensions is compromised, occasions when aspects of the past are somehow ‘replayed’, is unknown. There is even the very real possibility that what we are witnessing is off world in nature. There are strong similarities between the phenomena known as the ‘Mothman’ and some images and descriptions of the Thunderbird. Mothman was the name given to a creature sighted several times in the area of Point Pleasant, West Virginia in the 1960s. This creature was a tall, winged being with eyes that were either glowing red orbs or that reflected red light. Like some Thunderbird traditions, the Mothman was a frightening creature and considered to be a bad omen. In Mothman’s case, the sightings ended around the time of the disastrous collapse of the Silver Bridge in 1967, which kiiled forty-seven people. The mothman has of course been attributed to natural causes, with many people suggesting that it was actually a sandhill crane; a grey large bird, with large red spots that could have been mistaken for eyes.ConclusionsThere have been other animals such as the coelecanth and the Laotian rock-rat that were believed to be long-extinct that were found alive and well. But of the habitat of these creatures; dense forests and deep oceans lends itself to their concealment. In contrast, reports of unknown fliers vary from remote and sparsely populated areas of the world such as the Amazon to well-populated places like Illinois and Pennsylvania. It is hard to imagine that we’ve overlooked either a bird the size of Teratornis or a flying reptile of about the same size, yet it is hard to ignore the claims of seemingly reliable witnesses, who sometimes have observed the creatures in question at close range often during daylight. It is clear that a significant number of these sightings could be genuine misidentifications, but what about the rest? There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that there are enigmatic creatures in our skies that we haven’t yet been able to identify exactly what they are and where they come from. To discover more about these strange creatures might require a willingness to consider the impossible, to think outside the box and really look at the legend of the Thunderbird from an entirely fresh perspective. The legend of the Thunderbird may yet become a reality.
This article was written by FyreSpirit.© Thothweb - http://www.thothweb.comAll images copyright © by their respective photographers. This article is copyrighted. No part of this article can be reproduced without the written permission of ThothWeb.

Monday, December 11, 2006
Outlines of a mystery
We know who drew these giant shapes in Peru's desert - but why?
11:51 AM CST on Sunday, December 10, 2006
By LARRY BLEIBERG / The Dallas Morning News
NASCA, Peru – Everyone here, it seems, has a theory about the Nasca Lines.
The mysterious markings on the desert floor are a massive astronomical calendar. That's a popular one.
Or maybe they point to hidden reserves of water, the source of life in the desert.Then there's my favorite: UFO landing site. Forty years ago, Danish writer Erich Von Daniken popularized that theory with his best-selling book Chariots of the Gods?
Also Online
Photos: The Nasca Lines of Peru
Now, strapped into a four-passenger Cessna circling over a figure called the astronaut, I'm not sure what to think. One of its hands points to the sky, another to the ground. His owlish eyes stare into mine.
Look at me, the 1,500-year-old seems to say. Can you solve my mystery?
Here's what's known: For hundreds of years, the Nasca people created lines on the ground. Some form familiar figures: a spider, hummingbird and dog. Others – a whale, monkey and parrot – don't belong in the desert at all.
The only way to see the Nasca Lines is from the air. That makes them even more mysterious. How did pre-Inca people make these images without being able to fly? And what was the point of forming lines if they couldn't appreciate their glory? The lines weren't even discovered until 1929, when a pilot flew over the area and was astonished to see eyes looking up at him.
Thanks to the ancients, the town of Nasca now has a veritable air force: More than a dozen companies fly planes over the lines. The tours are an industry, as indicated by the handwritten sign taped to my plane's instrument console. "Tips are welcome," it says in six languages.
Not bad for a dusty desert town of about 20,000, a six-hour bus ride south of Lima. The modern city of Nasca, a place that gets less than an inch of rain a year, owes its prosperity to the mysterious markings. Statues inspired by the desert figures decorate the town plaza. Sketches of the lines are everywhere else. Elongated hummingbirds mark store signs, while a lizard graces City Hall. On sidewalks, brass inlays of a monkey and spider reflect the sun.
But the lines might have been forgotten without Maria Reiche. She came to Peru from Germany in the 1930s as a tutor and eventually dedicated her life to documenting the creations. For years, she surveyed the area, measuring the markings and pondering their meaning.
"To the local people, she was the gringa loca, the crazy woman sweeping the desert," said Bruno Huancahuari, who works at the Maria Reiche Foundation, a museum built at her former home outside Nasca. Displays include her hand-drawn maps and the Volkswagen microbus she used for explorations.
The world came around to Ms. Reiche's way of thinking before she died in 1998. Her statue now overlooks the city plaza. UNESCO declared the area a World Heritage Site, but not before some lines were destroyed by development – the Pan American Highway cuts a lizard's tail in half.
Only a few spots allow visitors to get a close look at the lines. A roadside fire tower, built with Ms. Reiche's funds, provides a view of two figures: a tree and a pair of hands. Like the astronaut and monkey, the two hands have only nine fingers. Another mystery.
But the city is generous with theories. Here's one explanation offered to me by a guide: Nasca has nine months of blazing summer heat, thus nine fingers.
Maybe so. But to understand the lines, I wanted to see them from ground level. Half a mile from the tower, visitors can get a desert-level view of the creations. I kneel to look straight down a line. I see no monkeys, whales or spiders. Just a long, straight pathway bordered with stones and disappearing into the distance in the brown, dusty desert.
The markings were made by clearing away dark rock, exposing white soil below. Archaeologists have demonstrated that using sophisticated surveying techniques it would have been possible for the Nascans to create figures working from a small model expanded to a large scale. That's probably how they were built. But one researcher has shown that the Nascans also could have built hot-air balloons to supervise the construction from above. We'll never know. The Nascan culture disappeared, eventually absorbed by the Incas.
Ms. Reiche spent her final years at the Hotel Nazca Lines (Nasca has alternate spellings), where she received free room and board in exchange for nightly lectures, during which she wrestled with questions such as these.
The hotel keeps the tradition alive with a nightly planetarium show. I drop in one evening, browsing alpaca scarves and Nasca replica pottery in the lobby gift shop before a German couple and I are led outside to a circular wooden building for a presentation in English.
As Peruvian flute music plays, the lights dim and an astronomer reviews the theories behind the lines. Ms. Reiche, it's noted, came to believe the lines were a star calendar, and that gets a thorough examination as lines and stars trace across the planetarium screen.
The hummingbird figure, for example, has a line emerging from its beak that crosses the desert and eventually points to the spot where the sun rises on Dec. 21, the South American summer solstice.
But just a third of the lines can be linked to astronomical observations. It could all be coincidence.
Each figure is made from a single line, we're told. Some believe the Nascans would visit their drawings for religious ceremonies, following the lines as some worshippers elsewhere in the world walk labyrinths in prayer and meditation.
Another theory suggests that the lines point to springs. Water here is a constant worry. Peru's coastal desert is one of Earth's harshest environments. Summer temperatures often top 125 degrees.
The word Nasca means "hard place to live," but its ancient residents found ways to survive. They constructed a system of aqueducts, channeling water from underground springs to their crops. At one point, an aqueduct flows underneath a river channel.
The underground waterways would clog, so the Nascans built walkways spiraling down as far as 20 feet, making it possible to clear obstructions and keep the water flowing. I follow one path down to the water level, marveling at the engineering and the startling sight of water coursing through a desert. These were clearly sophisticated people.
That same day, I look them in the face at the Chauchilla Cemetery, about 20 miles south of town. The dead rested in peace here until a century ago, when grave robbers desecrated the huge burial ground. The criminals grabbed pottery and textiles, leaving bodies and bones scattered across the desert floor. And that's where many remain.
Mummies have been returned to 12 graves, which are open for viewing. I stick to the path linking the sites. Vertebrae, femurs and slivers of unidentifiable human bones lie exposed on the sand.
The Nascans placed their mummies in a fetal position. Many had long hair, some still attached to the leathery skin on their skulls. The scene is creepy even at midday, looking like a bad Halloween display. Then I see mummies of children, and I'm reminded that this was once a place of mourning and sadness. Their small bodies are heartbreaking centuries later.
Now all the bodies and skulls again face east, waiting for the rising sun and rebirth.
It's sobering, but I had come to celebrate the Nascan's genius, not their demise. I had come to see their lines from the air.
Nasca's airport is little more than an open-air waiting room. Visitors line up for flights, which last 25 minutes and cost about $50.
I share a plane with a couple from Spain, who take the back seat. I'm to be the co-pilot. Before takeoff, we're given a map showing our route and the dozen or so figures we will see.
The pilot introduces himself, then radios the control tower for permission to take off. I'm unnerved when he writes the runway coordinates on his hand with a pen. Before I can back out, we're airborne.
In moments, the city of Nasca gives way to wide-open desert. Lines stretch everywhere. There are literally thousands, covering hundreds of square miles, but only a small percentage form recognizable figures.
The pilot taps my shoulder and points. There's a whale swimming forever through the sand. We circle it twice before moving on to the next figure, like a game of aerial connect-the-dots. Next come a pair of trapezoids – Erich Von Daniken's UFO landing strips. Then we circle the astronaut, who looks forlorn on the hillside, his big eyes staring up.
The pilot taps me on the shoulder again and pushes his body against the yoke so I can stretch behind him for a view out his window. It's like the driver of a sports car leaning forward to let a passenger into the back seat. Except we're cruising several thousand feet above the ground.
We pass a dog and a monkey. That's when I make my own Nasca Lines connection: The monkey's spiraling tail looks just like the path leading down to the aqueducts.
As we circle the figures, the plane tilting and dipping, my head starts spinning. I feel the blood drain from my face.
The pilot guarantees his tip when he nudges my shoulder. He pours some alcohol on a cotton swab and hands it to me, motioning for me to hold it to my nose.
My head clears.
During the next 10 minutes, we pass a spider, hummingbird, parrot, hands and a tree. I had seen the last two from the tower the previous day, but now the altitude guarantees a spectacular view.
Then he circles one last time and heads back toward town. For the first time in my life, I feel a cold sweat pouring down my back.
Somewhere over a grove of tangelo trees, I officially lose my breakfast in a bag provided for the occasion.
Back on the ground, I take a shaky step down to the tarmac.
The Nasca Lines remain a mystery to me, but I now have a wish for the ancients.
If aliens ever did fly in circles over the desert in southern Peru, I hope they tipped their pilot well.
Why were the Nasca Lines made? Here are some theories:
UFO landing strips. OK, a little far-fetched, but the idea presented in the best-seller Chariots of the Gods? helped popularize the lines.
Astronomical observatory. Many of the lines point to constellations and can be tied to solstices and equinoxes. But most don't.
Water. The desert-dwelling Nascans obsessed about water, and the lines could map underground sources.
Labyrinths. Each figure is constructed from a single line, so they could be walked during ceremonies.
Sports stadium. The Nascans were great athletes, the thinking goes. Maybe the lines were running tracks.
For tribute. The markings can be seen only from the air, making them messages to the gods. (See first suggestion.)
The town of Nasca (also spelled Nazca) is about 275 miles south of Lima. It's possible to visit on a day trip, flying from Lima to the towns of Pisco or Ica, and then taking a smaller plane for a flight over the Nasca Lines. But that would give you time to see the lines from the air and little else.
Consider overnighting, and even adding an extra day if you're a lines nut. Nasca sites can be visited on day tours provided by many area agencies.
I used a bus to reach Nasca, Cruz del Sur (, that cost about $21 each way from Lima and included movies, large business-class style seats, a snack and a game of bingo.
Avoid people selling tours and hotel rooms at bus stops. You'll get a better and more reputable deal from a hotel or agency.
Take my advice: Skip eating before you take a flight.
Flying over the lines costs about $50 for 25 minutes. Or you could fly from Ica or Pisco, which is closer to Lima, but it's usually just a flyover and won't allow time for other sights. These flights are $120 to $150.
The planetarium show at the Nasca Lines Hotel is offered in English nightly at 7 p.m. Cost: $6.
One of the newest hotels, Casa Andina, offers boutique style and comfort. About $75. Contact: 1-866-447-3270;
The Nasca Lines Hotel is another standby. Rates around $66; 011-51-56-522-293.
I stayed at the Hotel Alegria. 011-56-522-702. Cost: under $40. Some rooms are air-conditioned, important in the desert heat.
Peru travel information:

Thursday, November 30, 2006

By Stephen Bassettex·o·pol·i·tics k s -p l -t ks (pending) Function: noun plural but singular or plural in construction Etymology: From Greek exo, outside, from ex, out of, and from Greek politika, from neuter plural of politikos political. 1: the art or science of government as concerned with guiding or influencing governmental policy toward extraterrestrial phenomena and extraterrestrial beings. 2: exopolitical actions, practices, or policies. 3: the exopolitical opinions or sympathies of a person. 4: the total complex of relations between the human race and non-human, intelligent beings.Bethesda, MD USA – In Alexandria, Virginia there is a place called Gravelly Point Park. It’s not much of a park, but quite the place. It is known throughout the region because it sits a mere 1000 feet from the north end of runway 1/19 at Reagan National Airport. Bicyclists pull off the Mount Vernon Trail and tourists pull off the George Washington Parkway to watch the planes land and take off – a longstanding pastime uninterrupted (remarkably) by the events of September 11, 2001. Landing planes fly over this grassy patch so low you can see the tread on the tires. Wind direction permitting, planes taking off will rattle the fillings in your teeth. During the day the park is never empty. It’s addictive. This author has been there many times and remembers one perfectly clear day during the summer of 1992. As the planes passed overhead this thought came to mind: while the destination of the plane was known, the Washington, DC metro area, the point of origin was not known. Neither was it known how many people were on board, if any - it could be remote controlled – nor their names, reasons for coming, home towns, hopes and dreams. And depending upon the viewing angle, it might not be possible to even know the airline. With so much missing information one might be tempted to say, “What we have here is an unidentified flying object, a UFO.” But that would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it? What we had there was an airplane almost certainly containing human beings coming to the Washington, DC area for one reason or another. Perhaps you see where this is going for the very next thought that came to mind was this: during the five decades since 1942 millions of people around the world had been seeing unusual objects moving in the earth’s atmosphere. Tens of thousands of reports had been filed. The objects had been photographed, filmed, recorded on radar and sighted by trained observers – sometimes all four at once. They had been seen in the air and stationary on the ground. They had been seen traveling and maneuvering at seemingly impossible fashion for the historical period. They had been seen by pilots off the wings and cockpits of planes – fully formed metallic looking discs. They had been seen by Army, Air Force, Naval and Coast Guard personnel; air traffic controllers, astronauts, police officers, amateur astronomers, doctors, lawyers, political leaders and scientists. Documents referring to these craft had been discovered in government files, delivered anonymously to researchers and formally released by government authorities without prompting – not just in the United States, but in most first-world nations. Systematic investigations had been conducted by civilian and government organizations over the entire fifty years. Nearly 10,000 books, papers, articles and documentary films had been published specifically addressing this phenomenon. Reports have poured into researchers (their numbers would eventually swell to the tens of thousands) of direct contact with beings, clearly not human, who could well be the occupants of some of these craft. When one of these “objects” would pass overhead or close track a plane in flight the destination could properly be assumed to be the planet Earth, but the point of origin was not known. It was also not known whether the object contained humans, non-humans or no beings at all (remote controlled). If containing beings, their names, reasons for coming, hopes, dreams, etc. were also not known. With so much missing information it would be appropriate to call the “object” an unidentified flying object – a UFO – wouldn’t it? No, it wouldn’t. It would be appropriate to call it an alien or extraterrestrial space craft, most likely piloted by non-human beings, origin Earth, reasons for presence unknown. This was on this author’s mind in the summer of ’92. Paradigm Research Group was founded four years later, but it was not until 2000 the implication of those thoughts in 1992 became manifest. The implication was that the era of the “UFO” was over and a new era had begun – the era of exopolitics. The partitioning of history when dealing with large scale, implicative trends is usually done in retrospect. There is no shame in this, but there is often an arbitrary aspect to assigning the time frames. That is done by consensus of historians, but being early has its advantage. Here is the early line: the UFO era ended and the exopolitical era began in late 1991 with the dissolution of the Soviet Union into Russia and 14 other post-soviet states. The short answer as to “why this demarcation?” is this: 1) by 1991 the evidence which had been gathered and analyzed establishing some sightings as extraterrestrial craft was overwhelming. The researchers had done their job in the face of great resistance by the state. The verdict was in. (The government’s refusal to accept this result was irrelevant to this conclusion but entirely relevant to the truth embargo and propaganda campaign waged by the government to negate and subvert this conclusion.), and 2) the end of the Cold War removed the single most powerful restraint keeping military, agency and civilian contractor insiders from revealing personal, direct and indirect knowledge of events and evidence corroborating the extraterrestrial hypothesis behind the sightings. The gradual emergence of these insiders into the public domain gave the disclosure process substance. Understanding this transition is critical for anyone wishing to impact impending events. Given that “exopolitics” is not yet listed in any standard dictionary or encyclopedia (it is listed in Wiktionary, Webster’s Open Dictionary and Wikipedia), it is not surprising there is much misunderstanding over scope and usage. The primary misconception is that “exopolitics” only deals with “galactic diplomacy,” how humans should politically engage theoretical or asserted alien beings. Whatever the assertion of facts, this is but one aspect of exopolitics. It is the icing for a cake which is still in the oven. Exopolitics covers all social and political implications of the engagement of extraterrestrial-related phenomena by humans since the phenomena were first recognized. This will likely be split into two parts: the modern era beginning in the 1940’s and the pre-modern era going back to earliest recorded times. [The pre-modern era will perhaps be subsumed under the broader umbrella of exohistory – the study of non-terrestrial influences on human history.] Thus, exopolitics includes the full history of the government truth embargo (cover-up) and the national security structures created to manage the research, the actions or lack thereof of the public and institutions such as the press, Congress and academia, and most importantly, the disclosure process itself. It is a large field of study. It will fill scores of books and documentaries and spawn PhD theses for centuries. In time it will be subsumed into the larger field of political science. A student will major in political science with an emphasis on exopolitics. By comparison the phenomenological, scientific aspects of the phenomena will be dispersed into departments such as exobiology, cosmology, physics, astrophysics (already established) and yet to be established fields such as exoarcheology, exomedicine and exoscience (the study of the practice of science by extraterrestrials). But the academic evolution of exopolitics is the lesser aspect of our present concerns. Formal disclosure will be a cosmic birthing of a new world view, and the human race has now been in labor for 60 years without an epidermal. The screaming can be heard from pole to pole and out to the Kuiper Belt. A significant subject for exopolitical study is to describe the state of the world at the moment of this birthing. What is the condition of the planet and what is the disposition of the species - the variety and depth to the spirituality, science, politics, philosophy, psychology and mental capacity of Homo Sapiens Sapiens – as formal self-disclosure unfolds? The short answer is “not good.” Many Durantian attempts will be made to explain all this in multi-volume sets. Let’s confine ourselves to two perspectives with immediate implications. __________ “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Apostle Paul, 1 Corinthians 13:11 By virtue of its military and economic power, its prevailing in the Cold War and its success in building the vast superstructure of secret operations this author has often referred to as the Secret Empire, the United States still appears to have the final say as to when and if formal disclosure takes place, and, if the decision to proceed is made, play the lead role in what will surely be the ‘greatest show on earth.” But what is the state of the nation as the actor prepares to take the stage? So much has happened to the people and institutions of the United States since the 1945 signing of surrender by Japan, one hesitates to pick one trend and drag it out for close scrutiny, but one trend begs for such treatment, cries out for explanation and adjustment. Immediately after World War II the United States was a major economic, political and moral force for good in the world. The American people had demonstrated an almost superhuman capacity to manufacture, deliver and maintain a war machine never witnessed in human history. The nation’s post war treatment of the defeated enemies was so extraordinarily generous in its intent, so effective in its application, it eclipsed the horror of the nuclear bombings. The American people were viewed as capable, caring, fearless, generous, patriotic, family oriented, church going, honest and optimistic. They were in love with their country, and trust in government institutions was rock solid. And then it all began to go wrong. Beginning in late 1947 for reasons well known and less well known the United States embarked on the creation of what would become the Secret Empire – the intelligence wing of a vast national security state complex established for two reasons: 1) wining an ideological cold war against international communism, and 2) understanding, exploiting and secreting the material facts in evidence confirming an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race and the planet Earth As the Secret Empire grew in size and scope it began to make alterations to the social contract, bending it to the breaking point. The most serious alteration was to embrace the concept of government in loco parentis – the government as replacement parent for citizens now viewed as children of the state. This view became a cancerous growth centered in the gut of the Secret Empire which finally metastasized outward into every corner of governance – a glioblastoma multiforme with tentacles reaching into the FBI, ATF, DoJ, DOD, Office of the Executive, Congress, NIH, FDA – only the judiciary remained largely untouched. The Secret Empire had become larger than the Roman Empire with layer upon layer of management in place before an elected official was even in sight. It now consists of tens of billions of above black (itemized) funding, tens of billions of black (not itemized) funding, additional billions in below black (undisclosed) funding, unknown amounts of rouge funding, millions of classified documents, millions of classified personnel, thousands of classified programs, hundreds of unacknowledged special access programs, huge above ground facilities and equally vast underground facilities. Within this cloistered megastructure developed a cult of secrecy and unaccountability which placed those who run it above the law and outside societal norms. The secrets of nuclear war, world control mechanisms, extraterrestrial technology, alien beings and such were so profound only the initiated members of the secret world could even bear up under the knowledge. The average citizen would surely go mad, or so it was thought by those holding the secrets. The public has long sensed this process underway and manifests this awareness by embracing phrases in the popular culture such as “you can’t handle the truth,” “need to know basis,” “don’t ask, don’t tell,” “if I told you that, I’d have to kill you,” and many more. They embrace fictional accounts of the process in books and movies but are unable to marshal anything approaching an effective societal protest to the process itself. More significantly, the public’s new status as children to be seen and not heard by a parental state has resulted in unprecedented drops in trust in all aspects of governance. Trust in the executive, the Congress, the judiciary and the press is near historical lows. Only 25% of citizens bother to vote. What does “government by consent of the people’ mean if the people are children and not of age to give consent? [It should be pointed out the social net (welfare programs) promulgated by democrats and moderate republicans does dovetail into this parental modality. But it arises from a separate ideological source and does not present the same danger to the nation.] The existence of a Secret Empire contained within a developing national security state operating in loco parentis is now the greatest threat to the preservation of the Constitutional Republic, and the most important exopolitical issue now being considered is whether or not the disclosure event (formal acknowledgment by world governments of the extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race), however achieved, has the power to change the status quo and permit reform of the Secret Empire and reconstitution of the social contract. The era of the UFO which ended in 1991 was about “lights in the sky.” The era of exopolitics which followed is about “lies on the ground.” It is about the intersection between the phenomenology and the politics of secrecy and control. When Bob Woodward published his latest book, State of Denial, he confined the title’s metaphor to the Iraq war and concomitant events. If only he knew (or does he know?) how much further this proffered status extends. ________________ They shipped in people with every kind of background: clerks, professors, classical musicians, tradesmen and lawyers along with their spouses and children. No rank or station in life was exempt. They packed them into the designated sector four, five six families to an apartment or house. Outside commerce and services were eliminated or rationed. Guard towers were built, and where necessary gated walls were constructed to complete sector integrity. The residents inside would improvise, overcome, adapt or perish. It mattered little to the overseers one way or the other. In time sector life decayed as sanitation, health, resources, all the customary necessities, eroded. On occasion members of the controlled press would visit and inquire about the sector’s status. The commandant would escort them to viewing ports atop the gated walls. Together they would look down upon the unkempt residents as they slouched along in ragged clothes with listless demeanor. “Do you see what a mess these people are?” the commandant reflected for the benefit of the press. “That is why we must keep them in this ghetto.” Excerpted from Truth Embargo: the Secret Empire and the Intellectual Ghettoization of UFOlogy by Stephen Bassett. Unpublished. For many of the thousands of researchers and activists and millions of interested public who engaged the phenomenology of UFOs prior to 1991 the transition out of the UFO era has been uncomfortable and unwelcome. There is considerable resistance to the concept of exopolitics. One source of this resistance lies with a significant component of the delineation between the two eras. While it is not possible to cover in this short article the full range of issues defining this suggested bifurcation of history, one point of comparison stands out: in the UFO era the ETH (extraterrestrial hypothesis as explanation for the unexplained 5% of extraordinary sightings) was a theory under consideration. In the era of exopolitics post 1991 the ETH is not a theory, it is a given. It was proven by the work of hundreds of researchers over a period of 44 years – an extraordinary accomplishment under great hardship and against state policy. Those who are unable to make the transition and accept the ETH as fact, whatever the reason, are not comfortable confronting an emerging group of academics, activists and researchers who do. This circumstance is not unprecedented. All previous social and scientific paradigm shifts have produced similar tensions. It is also true that previous major shifts in world view have often been opposed and interfered with by state and religious institutions. The cosmic birthing process now underway is not the exception. As remarkable was the citizen-science-activism which confirmed the ETH and revealed the extraterrestrial presence, equally remarkable was the effort by the United States government to impede, misdirect and undermine the citizen driven process of discovery. From 1947 forward every resource available to the developing military-intelligence complex was brought to bear on American society to create an embargo on the most profound truth in human history. The task must have seemed incomprehensible in the beginning – prevent every major institution within one of the most literate and open societies in history during a period of exponential expansion of electronic communication and multi-tiered media growth, from engaging an issue driven by phenomena not under human control. While extraterrestrial craft were being seen and photographed around the world and extraterrestrial beings were interacting with humans on every continent, the United States government was able to prevent American academics, clerics, editors, publishers, state and federal political leaders and foundation board members from studying, teaching, covering, politically engaging or funding the issue in an appropriate manner leading to public understanding. It was and is a brilliant accomplishment now approaching its sixtieth year. The tools used to control the extraterrestrial disclosure process were forged in the fires within the Secret Empire which burned most fiercely during the prosecution of the Cold War (1947-1991). These same tools were also used in a wide range of abuses of power, the impact of which on American policy and the future of the nation can not yet be projected. But the outlines of this impact are beginning to emerge, and the picture is not attractive. The basic mechanisms of suppression are now well known: misinformation, disinformation, subversion, intimidation, lies, denial and misdirection. But these mechanisms were part of a broader process of social manipulation which this author has termed the “intellectual ghettoization of ufology.” The “ghettoization” of people and ideas by ruling authority has a long history which was always unpleasant but always effective. There is something fundamental within the human psyche which makes people susceptible to this maneuver. It is so simple. You direct intense ridicule at a selected target (a person, a race, an idea, a religion) and begin a process of isolation and separation. Then you associate more people and/or ideas to the selected target creating a defined and growing discredited grouping. The isolation process requires a containment barrier. With people you build a physical wall to encompass the group. Whenever you need to add to the group you toss another person over the wall. With ideas you build walls in the mind. Such a wall is the “ridicule curtain” built around the study of UFOs by the United States government in the early 1950’s. Once it was built every person who touched the issue from that time forward was “tossed” over the wall into the ghetto of ufology. No one was spared. Walked on the Moon? Won a Pulitzer Prize? Commanded a Naval ship? PhD from MIT? “Greatest jet pilot that ever was?” No matter. Touch the subject of UFOs and you are in the ghetto. The money dries up, the job offers diminish, programs are cancelled, medals are pinned elsewhere, college tenure is challenged, spouses leave home, phone calls are not returned. As the years passed without resolution the misery mounted. Many good people spent their lives in pursuit of truths they would not live to see acknowledged and shared. Many others “burned out” and withdrew. Those who stayed on became increasingly frustrated and frayed around the edges. Within the confines of the ghetto they turned on each other. Everyone was suspect. Anyone could be an operative. Occasionally someone might attempt to break out and run for mainstream daylight. If the stain of the ghetto was strong enough, they might be ignored. Who will believe them? If not, well, collateral damage is an integral part of modern rule. The murders were few by historical standards. With vision obscured by a wall of lies many lost sight of the most important point – one which should be etched onto a plaque and mounted over every door. The failure to resolve the political impasse preventing the formal disclosure to the world of the extraterrestrial presence is the fault of one entity – the government of the United States – period. It’s not the researchers or activists one doesn’t like. It’s not the character flaws so clearly seen in others but not in oneself. It’s the government, stupid. The one many didn’t bother to vote for because they were too disgusted or simply didn’t care any more. It is the government that acts on your behalf every day whether you voted or not and can make your life a living hell anytime it wants – if you let it. The UFO era is over. It ended in 1991. The United States government by intention or default is trying to extend the intellectual ghettoization of the extraterrestrial issue well into the second decade of the exopolitics era. This same government also wishes to extend its tenure in loco parentis to a nation of “children.” It is essential, it is critical the American people stand up and assert their role as parent to a misbehaving government which has lost its way. Those within ufology and exopolitics must recognize the “ridicule curtain” is a wall in the mind only. It can be torn down with an act of will. Tear down the wall, leave the ghetto, stand up to the state and demand the truth. _____________________ * To sustain and expand a construct of such complexity over time required a widely dispersed “carrier” – a kernel which could accrete the layers of ridicule, propaganda and mendacity – and which, like the spores of the dandelion, would attach itself to all who came in close proximity and spread. That kernel, that carrier was and remains the acronym “UFO.” It is the truth embargo’s flag, the “hook” upon which “the mainstream” can hang all who dare to challenge the status quo. Ultimately “UFO” has to go. Not simply because the “UFO Era” is over, but because it no longer serves the truth process. However, this acronym is entrenched in the culture. It is in the titles of magazines, books, papers and a legion of websites. It will take time, and, of course, that is exactly what is desired by the keepers of the ghetto. Nevertheless, the transition to a new lexicon within the era of exopolitics must be advanced as quickly as possible by those able and ready to do so. Relevant Web Links: X-PPAC: Paradigm Research Group (PRG): [Stephen Bassett is a political activist, founder of the Paradigm Research Group, Executive Director of the Extraterrestrial Phenomena Political Action Committee (X-PPAC), author of the Paradigm Clock website, and a political columnist and commentator. You can reach him at:]

Monday, November 13, 2006

In the wake of Brian Vike's stepping down from the UFOLOGY mantle, I came to the realization that there is no next generation in UFOLOGY. I can barely come up with five names of people under 30...even under 40...who can help fortify the foundation of UFOLOGY. It's sad, and it is unecessary. If there is no next generation, UFOLOGY will fail to gain the respect it deserves. So I encourage everyone to take part in this movement, to introduce a new generation to UFOLOGY. This is YUFOLOGY the YOUTH OF UFOLOGY blog.